It feels like only yesterday when I was standing on the tips of my toes on a rocking kitchen stool, holding on to my mom’s shoulders while craning my neck until I get a glimpse of the flour she’s toasting in her deep kawali. The warmth of the flame. The clang of the spatula. The scent of flour browning. The scent of pinipig toasting. All these are so dearly familiar.

If I had a penny for every polvoron [pol-voh-ron] I’ve had since I was little I would be a rich man, I kid you not. It’s the sweet grit that I love. It’s the milky mouthful that I can never get enough of.

Polvoron comes from the Spanish polvo, which means powder. The dearly loved Filipino treat and popular pasalubong is a version of the Spanish polvoron, which is a crumbly shortbread made of flour, sugar, milk, and nuts. The Filipino polvoron is not baked but it is simply toasted flour mixed with powdered milk, sugar, and melted butter, then pressed into round, crumbly morsels. Filipino favorites like pinipig and cashew nuts are toasted and ground, then added to polvoron for another layer of flavor. Ube, queso, and cacao are popular variations, too.

It’s been years since the last time I made polvoron with my mom but the pleasures of making them from scratch remain so vivid to this day. Toasting flour. Pounding pinipig. Melting butter. I remember pressing them into oval shapes using those one-of-a-kind, uniquely Filipino molds. Wrapping them in delicate papel de Japon, in shiny red, blue, yellow, and green cellophane. Wrapping them daintily and delicately, but only to unwrap them soon after to let them crumble in my fingers and let them melt in my mouth.

 

Pinipig Polvoron

Pinipig Polvoron

 

Pinipig Polvoron Recipe
Recipe adapted from The Maya Kitchen’s The Complete Guide to Baking, makes 2 dozen polvoron

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup pinipig
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside. Toast pinipig in a skillet over medium heat until they pop and turn brown, about ten minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind toasted pinipig in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Set aside. Toast flour in a skillet over medium heat until lightly brown, about twenty minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk toasted pinipig, toasted flour, powdered milk, and sugar together in a bowl until well combined. Add melted butter and continue whisking until well combined.

Place powdery mixture in a flat tray like a baking pan and press into oval-shaped candies using a polvoron mold. Wrap in cellophane or papel de Japon wrappers. Refrigerate for up to a month.

 

Pinipig Polvoron

  • Jennifer Delos Reyes

    I love Polvoron! Thank you for posting the recipe. My name is Jennifer Delos Reyes and my email is jenniferdelosreyes@mac.com

  • Lucy Griffith

    Your stories of childhood are fragrant with mindfulness and connection. Can’t wait to give this a try and surprise my Mindanao raised husband. The molds would just make it so special! Already subscribe to the blog.

  • Maria S.

    And here I was wondering how to get my hans on a polvoron mold. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • mychai

    love this! thinking of doing with my little ones, thanks!

  • mychai

    hi jun! love this post, will try to do with my little ones, mycile at mychai2@gmail.com

  • Star

    oh definitely add me to the giveaway. I am so looking forward to surprising my husband with some of these wonderful little treats for the holidays.

  • Jenni Lukac

    I’m really eager to try out this recipe on my family here in Spain. You’re making us all a bit more cosmopolitan here in the sticks of Aragon. I’ve never won anything in my life, but I’d sure like to know where I could order some of those wonderful molds. Happy Holidays and thanks for the great posts.

  • Doreen/mui

    Hi Jun,
    I am a follower of your blog for quite a while but never leave a comment before.
    I enjoy reading your posts and I love the way you share your thoughts about your passion towards Filipino food.

    I have made Polvoron once and I wanted to try again with your authentic recipe.
    Thank you for your sharing!

    I would love to join your giveaway. My email is muihiong71@gmail.com.

    mui

  • Myriam

    Hi Jun, I’m a subscriber and I would LOVE these polvoron molds! My parents just got back from the Philippines and brought back practically a crate of the Goldilocks scallop-edged polvoron, and my kids devoured them. Would love to make some myself! Thanks.

  • Myriam

    Hi Jun, I would LOVE to win these molds! My parents just got back from the Philippines and brought back a ton of the Goldilocks scallop-edged polvoron, and my kids devoured them. Would love to make some myself. Thank you!

  • Tara Hildreth

    Question, where in the bayarea can you get pinipig, assuming it’s the powder since the link to pinipig on your site is to a rice cake that calls for pinipig.

  • Cris Rivera

    Yay! I hope I win. I need a polvoron mold!!

  • Suzanna Ignacio

    I would love to make these! suz8anne@gmail.com

  • Anonymous

    Pinipig in polvoron?! I know I’m a neophyte in the Filipino sweets department but I’ve never heard of this. It sounds amazing! I also have fondness for polvoron, so much so that when I came to this country years ago and got the craving for it, I simply ate powdered milk with a spoon. No comparison I know but it worked. Now I have this great recipe! So how do you suggest I make it without a mold? Could it be pressed into a pan and then cut or is it too brittle? Thanks Jun!

  • Marj

    i so want to learn making this…
    Marj Arriola MCMalubay@gmail.com

  • Sarah Copon

    I loooove polvoron! I made some last Christmas for my friends and family and they loved it! Surprisingly easy to make….except if you don’t have a mold! I used a table spoon as a mold and although it looked pretty, it took forever to make! Please please please let me be the lucky winner of the oh so coveted polvoron mold!!! :)
    xo – Sarah – sarcopon@gmail.com

  • Ruthie Stephen

    This looks amazing and so easy to prepare, my kids will totally love this…would love to give this a try for Christmas :-) Ruth Stephen (ruthiein@yahoo.com)

  • Anonymous

    Awww polvoron! love, love, love them. they also remind me of xmas and parols! someone else can win the moulds and then they can send ME the finished product. how’s that for a deal? LOLOL

  • Anonymous

    thanks for posting this! definitely trying this. makes for a sweet gift….. ;)
    Stephanie Zopf (stephanie.flores@gmail.com)

  • Sheila Chen

    Thanks for sharing! I love Polvoron! I’ve never made them before, just consumed them. I didn’t know about these molds. Where did you get them from? Great Blog and pictures!
    Sheila Chen (sheilakuo@gmail.com)

  • Susan

    I, too, have fond memories of polvoron. Growing up they were the tasty gifts given by relatives as “souvenirs” from their visit to the motherland. My mom would always make sure to purchase a box or two (or three or four) from a Goldilocks bakery in Cali to bring back home to the midwest and share. Have you any suggestions on a gluten-free version? Thank you for your blog; the pride in your pinoy heritage shines brightly through your words and photographs. Happy Holidays to you and yours!! Sue (scoe25@gmail.com)

  • Ana

    The method of preparation (mixing of powder) looks very similar to traditional Cantonese sweets like almond cookies (杏仁饼) or toasted rice powder cookies (炒米饼). I would love a mold too!

  • Susan

    I, too, have fond memories of polvoron. Growing up they were the tasty gifts given by relatives as “souvenirs” from their visit to the motherland. My mom would always make sure to purchase a box or two (or three or four) from a Goldilocks bakery in Cali to bring back home to the midwest and share. Have you any suggestions on a gluten-free version? Thank you for your blog; the pride in your pinoy heritage shines brightly through your words and photographs. Happy Holidays to you and yours!! Sue (scoe25@gmail.com)

  • Denise Long

    I can’t believe I have never had these!

  • Clara

    Not a pinipig fan but would like to enter

    Clara
    Fantastikfoodie21@gmail.com

  • Lysa

    Pick me, pick me!
    Goodies wrapped in colored cellophane is definitely a trademark of Philippine Christmas. Food for the Gods, pastiillas, empanadas…oh! And polvoron! Maligayang Pasko!

  • Eloise Lim

    One of my favorite pinoy treats. Thanks for sharing! More power on your blog. (lim.eloise@gmail.com)

  • Vicki

    I made cassava cake last week using your recipe – delicious! I’m going to try this recipe next. If I’m not lucky enough to win the mold – where could I buy or order one? My email is srv2sd@sbcglobal.net

  • Mila

    Polvoron w/pinipig…my favorite sweets from the PI. Love your blog! milaflor@hotmail.com

  • shirley chan

    i love making polvoron and keeping them in the freezer. Try eating them cold – yummy !
    shirley

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Tara, pinipig is available in Filipino stores and most Asian stores in the Bay Area like Ranch 99. Pinipig is dried, pounded rice. It has a light brown in color like the one in the photo below. Toast it in a skillet, grind in a mortar and pestle, and add it to your polvoron.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Yes! That’s how I do it, too. Freeze them so that they’re not as crumbly and easier to eat one after the other! Happy Holidays, Shirley!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Oh my! I have to make you some! I love the extra grit of pinipig in polvoron. And yes, we are cut from the same cloth: I used to just mix powdered milk and sugar and eat it as merienda! So good!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Making polvoron without the mold is a bit challenging. It’s too brittle to cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter. It crumble too easily. I’d recommend pressing it in small ramekins. Freeze them, then carefully remove them with the help of a paring knife. Add a little more butter to hold everything together. Give it a try.

  • Kaythe

    Pick me :) Pick me!!! love polvoron! but can’t make with the molds :) And thanks for sharing your recipes

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Hello Jenni,

    Thank you for writing. And Happy Holidays to you, too! My mom brought the molds back from Manila when she visited us. You can get them through amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CLUGUU6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00CLUGUU6&linkCode=as2&tag=junblog-20. I have not bought anything from this particular seller so I cannot vouch for them.

    Making polvoron without the mold is a bit challenging. It’s too brittle to cut with a cookie or biscuit cutter. It crumble too easily. I’d recommend pressing it in small ramekins. Freeze them, then carefully remove them with the help of a paring knife. Add a little more butter to hold everything together. Give it a try.

    Thank you for following the blog.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Lucy, thank you so much for writing and for the kind compliments to the blog. Where in Mindanao is your husband from? Davao? Zamboanga? I am from Manila but never got the chance to visit Southern Philippines. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • natzsm

    Except for the wrapping part, I just love making polvoron. I think my hands are both to large and to heavy to wrap these delicate goodies- they fall apart when I start twisting the papel de hapon or cellophane. I simply put the powdery mixture into bottles and eat it with a spoon!

    I just wanted to leave a comment but no need to include me in your raffle.. I already have a couple of my own but simple do not use them as explained above. :)

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Hello Sarah,

    It’s Jun from Jun-blog! You’ve won the polvoron molds. I’ll be sending an email to you shortly to get your mailing address and they’ll be on their way soon.

    Thank you so much for following the blog.

    Jun
    jun@junbelen.com

  • Sarah Copon

    OMG! Thank you so much Jun!!! My husband is making fun of me coz I’m jumping around like a little kid! Looking forward to your email!!! :)

  • Leigh

    I don’t have a polvoron mold either, but I’ve had success making it in a small cookie scoop (the kind where you squeeze the handle to release the dough.) They’re definitely not the traditional shape, but they come out relatively easily, and they’re still delicious!

  • Leigh

    These sound amazing, I’ll have to try to make them soon! They were a childhood favorite before the place that we used to get them from went downhill. Now I have to wait until someone brings them from the Philippines as pasalubong, which isn’t as often as I would like =( Thank you for posting this!

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